It’s decidedly odd weather we are having here today: alternating periods of warm sunshine and dark skies with very heavy rain and wind. If it’s still raining when my Incredibly Cute Wife gets back from London I had better go pick her up from the station otherwise she’ll end up like a drowned rat.
A thoroughly wet Toothless recently appeared in my office. I’m surprised at this; he’s not normally one to hang around outside and get his paws wet if it’s raining. I got a towel and dried him off which he seemed to appreciate. It’s very noticeable that wet cat smells a great deal better than wet dog. Well, noticeable if you’re the kind of idiot constantly who frequently huffs your cat’s head and belly. And now Chairman has reappeared with only his tail damp. Again, I’m surprised; Chairman is definitely one to stay outside when it’s wet – he’s never shown any sign whatsoever of being bothered by a spot of rain. When he’s outside he comes in when he’s bored or hungry, not when it’s raining. Speaking of Toothless, I was making lunch earlier when I heard a familiar chugging sound from outside the kitchen door. He was busy throwing up a bunch of grass on the hall carpet. Which was nice of him.
Further to my rant the other day on the subject of people whining about the weather comes this excellent site offering free assistance in getting yourself prepared for next winter. As it so presciently observes:
The snowpocalypse has hit Britain, again, and you’ve still not bought a snow shovel. Naturally, all the shops have sold out and have no idea when they’ll get more.
So it offers to help you by sending you a reminder e-mail in the middle of next year. Truly a public service. Sign up, minions!
My patience is already exhausted with people kvetching about the weather and blaming $PUBLIC_BODY for failing to ensure their personal convenience. Guess what? One billion Red Chinese and Mama Nature don’t give a mouse-sized shit about your plans. The problem is not that this is yet another example of how useless Britain is at everything other countries do well. It’s that severe weather causes us problems because it’s so unusual. We aren’t prepared because we almost never need to be prepared.
In southern Germany drivers don’t slide all over the place because they have winter tyres. In Britain we do because we don’t; the reason we don’t is because we almost never need them. When my wife and I went to her dad’s in Maine for Christmas two years ago, Kennebunk had 30 inches of snow that day. This is entirely normal for a New England winter, so they cope. They have snow tyres, snow blowers, four-wheel drive vehicles, municipal snowploughs and domestic power generators in abundance – because they need them for months every winter.
In most of Britain, especially the south east and most especially London, 30 inches is about a quarter century’s cumulative snowfall. So how’s it the government’s fault that when London gets three inches in half an hour one freakish Saturday it inevitably causes problems? As Michael White says in this remarkably common-sense article in today’s Guardian:
Do we want to stockpile snow ploughs, salt, grit etc on a Russian scale when they haven’t been needed here since 1962-63 or possibly 1946-47?
Short answer: no, especially when public spending is already in a blizzard of coalition-driven economies, some of which will prove to be false ones.
In order words, stop whining. It’s nobody’s fault. There’s no one to blame, apart from Mother Nature and she couldn’t care less.